Would Mariucci Stay?
February 17th 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
Time To Digest Now that we've all had some time to digest the 'shocking' news about Mariucci and Tampa Bay, let's take a look at some of the finer points and the probability's of this move happening. Now most articles you read are going to have Mariucci already one foot out the door, I'm going to do my best to at least take an analytical approach to the scenario. I'm a huge Mariucci fan, most of you will know that. Many of you will argue that he's not the greatest coach, for those of you who believe this, I have a few points. First, this is the third team this season to go after Mooch for their coach. Second Mariucci has turned a team around that probably had 9-7 talent and won an extra three games with them. Third, and most recently before leaving to Tampa Bay Mariucci took the time to brief his staff on what was happening rather than let them read about it in the papers - this I believe is the '49ers class' we speak so highly of, and just one of many examples as to why Mariucci is the ideal 49ers coach. Of course I could go on with infinite points about the merits of Mariucci, but for the time being lets consider that he is a great coach who we want as part of our team.
There are essentially two angles to look at this from. The first is from the 49ers side, and the second is from Mariucci's side. So starting with the club, here's what we know:
Since Bill Walsh's arrival with the club, there has been some tention between the 49ers and Mariucci. We don't know how much tension there is, but we do know that the sides can work well together despite some frustrations.
We know that the front office believes Mariucci is too conservative, and we know that the front office doesn't fully back Mariucci on the way he handles some situations (ie Owens).
We know that Mariucci wanted and was refused a contract extention earlier this past season.
We know that the front office has nobody lined up for the head coaching position if Mariucci were to leave.
We know that the front office has in all likelihood agreed to a package for Mariucci before granting the Bucs permission to speak with him.
We know the 49ers want to win consistently as soon as possible. And we know that bringing in a new coach with a new system would prolong this process.
We know that front office has publicly stated they would like Mariucci to stay.
Now from the front office's side we can gather that even if they received a great package for Mariucci, and in trading him, it would eliminate all tension between him and the organization, the team would not win be winning consistently very soon, the team has nobody to immediately take Mariucci's place and that Mariucci's replacement would likely come at a greater price then Mariucci himself. There are not many coaching possibilities out there, and certainly even fewer of coaches who are at least equally qualified to Mooch.
From Mariucci's side we know the following:
Mariucci would love full control over the players on the team. He is however willing to wait for this to come.
Mariucci wants to finish what he started in rebuilding the 49ers.
Mariucci has already turned down two teams looking to take him from the 49ers.
Mariucci and his family love the Bay Area.
Mariucci loves his staff, and vast majority of the players on the team.
Mariucci does has some sort of tension with the 49ers organization.
Mariucci is looking for some sort of job security.
From Mooch's perspective it seems there are way more pro's to the 49ers than there are cons. The way it seems to add up is that if Mariucci was given a contract extention from the team he in all likelihood with stay with them.
There is really only speculation that the 49ers want Mariucci to leave. It's hard to believe Mariucci would want to leave this team. There may be some tension between him and the front office, but that doesn't seem to add up. With Mariucci leaving it's hard to believe both sides would benefit. Sure Mariucci would have full control over a ball club, but he would have to uproot his family AGAIN, he'd have to bring in a new coaching staff, he'd have to install his system to a bunch of players who have never seen it before, he'd have to find many new players, all in time to have a competing club for next season. On the other hand if he were to stay, he'd have the same reliable coaching staff he has grown to love, he'd have players (despite Owens) who respect him and listen to him. He'd have a quarterback on the verge of becoming great. A quarterback who with a little more tutoring could really start winning games for the team and taking them on his back. The only thing he wouldn't have is full control over the personell. On the other hand if Mariucci left the 49ers, they would not have a coach readily available. They would have to put up with at least two more season's of rebuilding. They would have to find a coach from a very small pool of capable coaches and have a very hard time finding one comperable to Mariucci. They would however have more draft picks.
So I'm going to go out on the limb here. And if I'm wrong, you can all flame me afterwards, but I predict Mariucci stays. That's right folks, while most people have Mariucci half way out the door, I'm saying he's going to stay with the 49ers, he's going to take Garcia to the next level, pick up a contract extension along the way (if the 9ers were smart they'd give it to him now) and keep this club, which by every definition in the book is his team, as a winning team. So that's what I'm going to believe, and until I see evidence in another direction - and not simply speculation, that's what I'm going to stick with. Again, if I'm wrong, so be it, but at least you all know what I believe. Talk about it in the 49ers Paradise Forum